I bought a premium, french fry cutter on Amazon about a year ago. I shop like most of us do, searching for what we wanted, then scrolled down to look at the pictures, pricing and reviews. The fry cutter I'd eventually buy looked promising and had plenty of 5 star reviews. The images appeared reputable giving me the added confidence that this was the only potato, french fry cutter we should buy. The images and description told me a story of how easy it would be to make fries in my home kitchen. I could already see myself busting out the fry cutter for a friendly BBQ at our house. I could see the smiles of my family and friends as they ate the freshest fries on the planet, provided by yours truly. I was already sold. I placed the order and eagerly awaited it's arrival.
The day I got it, we celebrated. We ran down to the store and bought a fresh bag of your classic American Potatoes. After we got home, I carefully assembled the cutter and were ready to take this thing for a test drive. I'd spent time researching and believing in the french fry cutter, I couldn't wait to give them a taste.
We popped the potatoes into the cutter and with one hand on the lever and pushed down to slice the potato then CLUNK. One attempt in and the potato was stuck in the dangerously bladed machine. If I stuck my hand in to pull out the potato, I'd be putting myself in harms way and would cut myself on the sharp-but-clearly-not-sharp-enough blades. I grabbed a kebab stick and knife trying to use human ingenuity to pry this stupid potato out of what was becoming the stupid fry cutter. After wrestling with this machine, it was clear we didn't get what we'd bought. What we bought was a fry cutter that brought smiles to the faces of my friends and family. What we bought was the greatest fry cutter in the world. We didn't get what we bought. In a world filled with fantastical ideas, of incredible salesmanship, of perception, we don't usually get what we buy.
As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity to sell what people want to buy. We have the chance to give them that thing. Let's just make sure that when they receive it, that they truly get what they bought and often it has nothing to do with the widget. It mostly means delivering the experience and the story our customers told themselves all along about what you'll do for them.